Saturday, February 5, 2011

Confessions and history of a coffee addict

Hi my name is Becky, and I am a coffee drinker....

I swore I would NEVER become one, but it has happened!!!

I remember my parents drinking coffee in the mornings always knowing that it was something adults drank and since I  never planned to become an adult, I would never drink coffee like an adult.  Then I went to college!!  I resisted coffee at first but before the end of my first semester, I was hooked!  I blame my college roomie--she already drank coffee and she began brewing instant coffee in our room using an electric hot pot and the kind of instant coffee, (Folgers Crystals) that dissolves in boiling water. It wasn't long before I was sharing those great morning coffee moments, relaxing after conquering the monumental task of getting through an 8 am class!  We started with the instant stuff which quickly became a gateway into the harder core kind of instant that came in those tea bags that allowed you to "brew" coffee in your mug like tea.  This eventually led to getting a peculator- a garage sale find from my roommate's mom and finally, by the time I graduated- my apartment mates and I had a schedule for making coffee and cleaning out the drip pot.  Believe me there was hell to pay if you missed your turn, or worse, used the last of it! 
As a substitute teacher and part time retail girl living with her parents post college, I still prided myself on only needing that one cup in the morning.  I would occasionally have a mug in the evening if it was a special dinner out.  Then, in my own apartment, I was sure to have a coffee maker on the counter. I began setting up the pot before  bed so I could just hit the button in the morning to brew while I got ready.  Then I'd pour a cup as I rushed out to go.  Eventually, I  indulged in a brewer with a timer, eliminating the need to enter the kitchen at all until there was coffee waiting for me!! A few years later, my husband brought home a new fangled pot that allows you to dispense coffee directly into your mug, one handed, (a blessed thing for a new mom constantly holding a baby)!! It was one of those pots from Hamilton Beach that doesn't have a glass carafe, you put your cup under, hold it for a minute and go! It saves on cleaning and you don't have to actually lift your arm to pour--pure genius!!  I think it was at about that time that I began drinking two cups in the morning.  One at home and one to go!  My coffee mugs evolved over time as well, I started with plastic freebie mugs from mini marts and gas stations moved on to cups with screw tight lids. I am now tempted to spend big bucks on stainless, double-walled travel ware that has some cute design or trendy logo!!
There was a period of time when G and I would buy each other cups of coffee when we bought gas at our favorite station in town, another gateway to adding more coffee into my day.  This particular station was the only one in town that had flavored creamers, a shaker with cinnamon or cocoa, vanilla flavoring, nutmeg, or even mini marshmallows, very high fashion fancy coffee! He liked his with the French vanilla cappuccino and I would always add a splash of hot chocolate into mine! High class coffee at Sunoco, baby!
I still continued to drink two cups of coffee daily, for the most part and still prided myself that it was all I needed to start the day.  But then I discovered that morning coffee was much more enjoyable and effective if I spent at least  20 minutes drinking my first cup on the couch in front of the news, so I could use one of the 100s of cute mugs we have dedicated an entire cupboard to.  My second cup, is now poured into a second mug, a travel mug, to hastily sip throughout the morning.
This was the way it was for many years and still kind of is. Now we have a newer version of the dispenser-type brewer, with digital timer and automatic shut off, and my travel mugs are stainless (on the outside at least) or are cute in some way, not just emblazoned with a mini-mart's slogan.   But now another change in my coffee saga has occurred within the last 2-3 months, I have been introduced to the ultimate brewer that makes afternoon coffee at work a MUST DO:   The Keurig one cup at a time coffee system.  It involves purchasing and inserting one shot-glass-sized plastic cup into the machine, placing a mug of your choosing under the dispensing end, hitting the button; simply marked "BREW" and standing back for 30 to 60 seconds while the coffee (that now gets me through a long winter afternoon with six year olds) drains into a cup with some yummy flavored creamer splashed into the bottom.  Mmmmm... heaven!  I am officially a 3 cup a day (or more) drinker!!  It all started when December turned cold and snowy and the teachers across the hall and I all realized that the afternoons were very long when you have your break in the morning. We started using the drip pot that was a leftover in the faculty room. It was passed from room to room between 1 and 2 o'clock. you could fill your mug, and sip and enjoy while teaching the afternoon away.  But that did involve the necessity of having someone brew and do the passing around part.  So, thus we dreamed up a more streamlined process.  We dreamed about having a Keurig stationed in one person's room where you could just tiptoe in and quickly brew up a cup of sanity.  We were fortunate enough to work with a very generous person who provided us with an "extra" machine he just "happened" to have and now our dream is alive!  We pitch in to replenish the supply of k-cups (as the plastic cups are called) and share new and interesting flavors of both coffee and creamer, the latter sometimes hangs out the window for refrigeration purposes!  I am definitely hooked with a capital H!  On our recent snow day, I really missed the joy of my little afternoon cup and today I had a meeting in another part of the building that, again, prevented me from getting that cup of relief!  I actually came home and brewed a cup in my old Hamilton brewer just to get my fix!  It is official: I am a coffee drinker, I rely on it, it keeps me from snacking my face off after school---I need it and it makes me happy!!!  So thank you co-workers who support and cultivate my habit, thank you roommate who ushered me into this happy world of caffeine addiction and thank you coffee makers everywhere who get me through the day!!! (And, incidentally, allow me to be up half the night exploring blogs and rambling on about my own thoughts in my  blog!)

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